Rajasthan Royals set to open their second academy in the UAE

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Rajasthan Royals’ academy structure aims to nurture cricket stars of the future all over the world. — Supplied photo
Rajasthan Royals’ academy structure aims to nurture cricket stars of the future all over the world. — Supplied photo

Dubai - The second academy will arrive at Ajman’s newly-built Malek Stadium

By Team KT

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Published: Thu 12 Aug 2021, 4:00 PM

Following the success of their first academy at Dubai Sevens Stadium, Rajasthan Royals have now added a second venue to their portfolio of UAE academies. The second venue will be set up at the newly-built Malek Stadium in Ajman this September.

To kick things off at their exclusive new home, Rajasthan Royals Academy Ajman at Malek Stadium will host a free Open Day for children of all ages and abilities at the Malek Stadium on August 28.

That will give young cricketers across the local area to experience what it means to play the Royals way and give UAE parents the opportunity to see for themselves how the most innovative academy in the country operates.

Former UAE head coach Dougie Brown, who has been newly-appointed as the Academy Director of both academies (Dubai & Ajman) and has developed the coaching programme alongside the coaches of the IPL franchise, is delighted to be taking the Royals experience into another UAE emirate.

“It’s very exciting for us to expand Royals’ academy presence here in the UAE. Geographically, we wanted to create a much bigger footprint for excellence across the UAE as we know the coaching of our programmes is world-class,” said Brown, who played international cricket for both England and Scotland, and took over 500 first-class wickets during his playing career.

“Ajman is a hub of cricket, it’s an important strategic place for the Rajasthan Royals and we want to make sure we have an impact across the whole of the UAE. In doing that, we hope that we allow UAE cricketers to express themselves and become as good as they possibly can be,” said Brown.

The opening of Dubai’s Rajasthan Royals Academy UAE in October 2020 was the IPL franchise’s second international academy, with Ajman now its third such iteration, alongside those in Dubai and London.

“It’s vital to continue having a conducive environment to learn and develop. Our vision has always been towards creating a unique learning experience through our academies,” said Rajasthan Royals Chairperson, Ranjit Barthakur.

“In the UAE, where cricket has had such a huge impact, our aim was to extend a quality learning experience of the game to the larger population, wherein they don’t just train under the best but also have a great time working the Royals way.”

Rajasthan Royals’ academy structure aims to educate core skills of the game, as well as innovate every aspect of cricket, with a focus on nurturing cricket stars of the future all over the world.

Rajasthan Royals Academy Ajman will continue to drive this ambition, following in the footsteps of the UAE’s first official IPL franchise academy by becoming the country’s second.

Mike Fordham, CEO, Royals Sports Group (EM Sporting Holdings Ltd.), the holding company of Rajasthan Royals, added: “The Royals academy in Ajman is another key milestone for us, part of our overall global vision. UAE is a major modern-day sporting hub, and with excellent support and demand for cricket. We felt it was imperative to have another Royals academy in the country with greater access to the wider population.

“The academy in Ajman will help provide opportunities to the population outside of Dubai, to train and learn amidst world class facilities and coaches. The academy will form part of our global vision to engage a larger cricketing population, whilst driving the Royals brand in key strategic markets,” Fordham said.

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